In August, the Missouri Senate Interim Committee was able to get the University of Missouri to terminate ten contracts with Planned Parenthood affecting four states. However, the university did not sever ties with St. Louis Planned Parenthood abortionist Colleen McNicholas, who has privileges at their hospital to review patient medical records.
As LifeNews previously reported, Operation Rescue President Troy Newman said the following about her privileges: “The entire process of granting McNicholas spurious hospital ‘privileges’ that do not allow her to even touch a patient has been improper from the start. Two things need to happen immediately. First, Missouri University must revoke this bogus agreement with McNicholas and get completely out of the abortion business. Secondly, the Department of Health should revoke Planned Parenthood’s ambulatory surgical license and halt abortions in that the Columbia facility.”
Thankfully, now the University of Missouri has announced it will cancel their “refer and follow” agreement with McNicholas. The St. Louis Review reports that in a statement the university said they were reviewing their policies and privileges to make sure they accept applicants from now on that contribute to their mission of “providing patient and family-centered care, education and research.” At Missouri University health facilities, McNicholas was not allowed to admit patients, perform abortions or any other procedures.
Steve Whitt, chief medical officer of MU Health Care and a member of the executive committee, explained, “Of the 800 members of MU Health Care’s medical staff, two medical providers had refer and follow privileges. Refer and follow privileges only allow physicians to access their own patients’ information. This level of access to patient information is already permitted by any referring provider, including those not on MU Health Care’s medical staff; therefore, the designation of refer and follow privileges was outdated and unnecessary.”
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On Facebook, Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia), who led the senate committee investigation into Planned Parenthood, announced the news and said, “Many unborn lives will hopefully be saved as a result.” He added, “Through the course of our investigation, startling facts came to light, our committee dug deeper, and the public made their voices heard. This joyous outcome is proof positive that these committee investigations matter and the result will have eternal significance.”
Additionally, Sen. Schaefer mentioned that the Senate Interim Committee on the Sanctity of Life will continue their investigations into Planned Parenthood facilities in St. Louis and Columbia.
The Missouri Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the state’s bishops, noted that more than 1,000 people to date responded to the MCC’s plea to contact MU chancellor Loftin and the university’s board of curators to urge them to get out of the abortion business. The MCC said it was the biggest response the conference has received on an issue in a long time.
The MCC sent an action alert Sept. 25, asking citizens to thank Loftin and the board of curators for the university’s decision. (Visit www.stlouisreview.com/TNp to fill out a pre-composed thank you letter.)
“We’re very grateful for the response of Catholic citizens,” said MCC executive director Mike Hoey. “It made a huge difference. We’ve called Mizzou back to its core values, which includes protecting the sanctity and dignity of all human life. Hopefully this will lead to the closing of the abortion industry completely in Columbia.”
Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri CEO Laura McQuade issued a statement, expressing outrage that MU Health Care “caved to the political pressure.” McQuade also vowed that Planned Parenthood will take any necessary legal action.
“We condemn MU Health Care for abusing public trust by denying the community access to the health care they deserve, despite their core mission to advance patient-centered care and promote the health and well-being of all Missourians,” McQuade said in the statement.